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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tried to make the header be a fast synopsis of my questions.
This might be long, I will provide some detail.

I have Ball Pythons and Bearded Dragons, and an Albino female hedgehog, 6 months old.
She lives in a 4x2 cage, solid sides, with 1x1" 'screen' on either of the large sides.
The bottom 4" is covered with plexi-glass, I am up late and have only seen her sniff to top edges of the plastic, never reaches up. Temperatures were raised from 74 to 77 in the last week, due to new readings which suggested slightly higher was better.
She eats a premium cat food, top 5 ingredients-deboned chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, russet potatop, deboned northern whitefish. 17% fat.
She has a solid wheel, I do not know the name, she runs, about 2 hours a night while I am awake.
Fleece liner, 2 halfs, one side changed weekly, other side(messy side) changed every other day.

Now for my 'problem'
I breed African Soft Fur rats for my Ball Pythons, housing anywhere from 10-30 at a time.
They are around a bit of a corner, 7-8ft from my girls cage.
They got infested with a small bug, red in color.
I did not notice them until I saw them in my girls bedding.
I said MITES! however after investigation, I do not believe they are.
I did a very good clean up of her cage, replaced everything, sprayed and wiped all walls clean.
Gave her an oatmeal bath, twice, and left her for the night.
And KICKED my rats butts out on my balcony. They will stay there until cold, and I will determine if they are allowed back in.
Next day I went to do another good clean of the cage, and no bugs were there. None on her, nadda.
They were about a mm big, much larger then I have seen pictures of mites.
I breathed a sigh of relieve, and ordered anti-mite drugs(revelation*sp) anyways.

Been 3 nights, gone and done a good clean up each night, still no bugs.

Did I do the right things??
Do you agree it is probably not mites?


This morning, I had her out, her 'mohawk' is black, it looks like dirt really, but there is nothing dirty in her cage. She also has a slightly less black mark on her read back.
Is this from anointing? I have never seen her do it... I know she might do it in private or whatever, but I have never seen this before.
I just gave her 2 baths very close together, I want to give another to see if it comes off, but I am worried 2 is already to many to have given her skin.
I use oatmeal in a coffee filter to 'milk' up the water.... (is that ok? I think I read panty-hose, but I do not swing that...)

Do I need to worry about these dark spots on her quills?
Can I give her another bath?
Can I use my coffee filters? I imagine they do not have any chemicals and such on them...
Can I just leave them until her next scheduled bath? *generally every 2-3 weeks yes?

Hope I am treating her right.
Slap me around if I need to change my care of her.

Thanks for any criticism and comments.
 

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GoodSmeagol said:
And KICKED my rats butts out on my balcony. They will stay there until cold, and I will determine if they are allowed back in.
Next day I went to do another good clean of the cage, and no bugs were there. None on her, nadda.
They were about a mm big, much larger then I have seen pictures of mites.
I breathed a sigh of relieve, and ordered anti-mite drugs(revelation*sp) anyways.
Your treatment of your hedgehog is fine.

I wish your treatment of your natal rats was as good. It isn't your rats fault they got lice (and, if you're going to breed for food, you really need to learn proper rat husbandry). If anything, it's your fault. Rat lice bloom because of stress of overcrowding and poor living conditions. Evicting them from your home isn't going to resolve the issue; it's cruel and inhumane. The stress of living outside where you will pay even less attention to them is most likely going to make the matter worse.

The fact that the lice bloom got so bad that they left the rats and were found on your hedgehog says that you truly were not paying any attention to the rats living conditions. Rat lice are species specific and they were looking for more rats. They can't infest hedgehogs.

Ivermectin or Revolution is the treatment of choice for lice in rats. Severe lice infestations such as you have can kill the rats so I certainly hope you treat them. You'll also need to clean the environment completely and take any unused bedding and freeze it or you'll risk reinfestation.

In addition, you're probably keeping your rats in an aquarium. This is reason 1 that they shouldn't be kept in one. Aquariums are too hard to keep clean. Martin's cages make a much better choice and are easy to clean. They are safe for rats and mice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My rats are in an aquarium, a 55 gallon. It is BIG. My colony has been in this cage for almost 2 years. At one point I had 45 in there and the mother ate 4 of her babies. I now cap it at 30.
Still most of them are 3-6 weeks, as I euthanize half the young at 4 weeks for my juvie snakes.

I clean and change the bedding, and remove all rats and use clorahexadine to disinfect the cage.
They have a water feeding system I need to refill every 5 days. They are supplied a weeks worth of food.
They are not my pets, I do not remove them daily from their cage to inspect.
They do not get alot of attention sure, however they are taken care of.
My balcony is fine for them for the summer months, I am often on my balcony reading, and they are not forgotten, they simply do not receive 'loving' care. Where they are, no sun ever shines, they are in constant shade. When it starts to get cold, I will reassess if I want them back in, if I decide no, they will be euthanized, and frozen.

Just over a week ago I added 2 new adult females to my colony, my assumption is they came with the lice, thank you for helping me identify the bug.

I have ordered my Revolution Mite care, it will be here in 4 days. The day after I moved them out, I completely cleaned their cage, and have done so again since. They are kept on yesterdays news bedding.

Thank you for your concern, and your pointers.

How about my hog, is the black marks anointment? Can I give her another bath? Should I hold out a while.....
Thanks
 

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XD I guess I'm just weird for always taking out bf(at the time)'s mice out to make sure they were big, fat and healthy. They were the friendliest little things because I bugged them so much, even though they were used as feeders for his snakes.

But anyways...

Is there anything that is black in your hedgie's cage? It sounds like she tried to eat/chew something, then annointed with it.
It would be best to check that out, in case she IS eating something that she's not supposed to.

Is the black only on her quills? Is there any on her skin? What exactly does it look like? And I'm sure some pictures might help too.

Adding a flax or vit e oil rinse after baths would help with the dry skin as well. Makes the bath less "drying"
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pictures not so easy right now, I was recording fireworks at Ontario Place in Toronto, an inebriated friend kind of dropped it, OOPS.

My rats are vicious, I have never played with them, and they bite often.
When I do a cage clean up, I remove them, and weigh them all, I record their weights, my snakes are on a 10% of their weight as prey diet.
Either way, I could spend more time with the rats, I do not care to. Today when I checked them, I only found 4 of the bugs in the cage, and none on the juvie rat I took out.
I will still use the mite stuff on them when it is delivered.

Enough of my rats,

Her food is pretty dark in color, but she has been on this diet for 2 months.
Today the quills are not as dark, and yes just the quills the skin seems fine.
The dark mark on her back is just a tinge now, I have seen this 'tinge' of color in this place twice before, never as dark as it was the other night.

There is nothing black in her cage, except a small piece of fabric(ft2) I put it in after I cleaned the cage this last time, her fleece was still dirty. It is a piece of an old shirt, polyester maybe, no threads.

I will look harder for the flax seed oil, I will have a car next week, it will help make it easier to find.
Tonight I wet my fingers and tried to rub some of the quills gently to see if it would come clean, she did not like it too much, gave me a nice huff, but it seemed to have cleaned up a little, and is looking a lot less dark, more of a brown now, which is the color of her food.
I will hold off another bath until I get the oil, or her next scheduled.

Thanks for the pointers
 

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XD you actually braved Toronto traffic to watch the fireworks? I just watched those from the rooftop of my apartment lol

Flax oil capsules are easily found in shoppers, pharmacy sections of walmart and other pharmacy stores. Look for the herbal sections with all those green bottles and leaf pictures :lol:

What might be easier than using your finger is to take a (very) soft toothbrush and brush over those quills during the next bath. But don't use it too much, I personally worry about the brush stressing out the quills too much, but it does help with stuck on dirt like that. What you can also try is a wet cloth and just wipe back, in the same direction of her quills.
 

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Brave the traffic? NO WAY!
My apartment over looks the water, the camera was on my balcony railing when my friend knocked into it, long way down...

I have looked at the 2 nearest shoppers with no luck, maybe I am just looking in the wrong spot. I will double my efforts.
 

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Nice, I wanted a place by the water, but decided that being closer to school was better, instead of having to deal with downtown traffic XD

Have you tried asking the pharmacist at the back? They should be able to tell you which row/section the flax seed capsules are. I know I've seen them in shoppers. I bought my bottle at walmart though, cause I was looking for lanolin and fleece.
 
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